Arsenal legend Martin Keown has compared Wayne Rooney's current performance at Manchester United to Robin van Persie's display in his final season at Old Trafford. The England international last scored in the Premier League on 4 April against Aston Villa.
The 29-year-old has struggled since the start of the season and his poor performances have been criticised by some football pundits. The arrival of Anthony Martial from AS Monaco on deadline day has eased his pressure as the teenager has already scored four goals in four appearances.
Van Persie managed just 10 goals in the league in the 2014/15 season. The former Arsenal star was shown the exit door and he joined Fenerbahce earlier in the summer. Keown believes Rooney no longer has the charisma in his game and blamed Louis van Gaal's system for his lack of goals.
"It's an interesting one. I can see certain similarities between Wayne's current appearance and that of Robin van Persie last season. It feels like déjà vu," Keown told the Daily Mail.
"Once Sir Alex Ferguson left, Van Persie suffered a dip and last season he looked a far cry from the player he once was. But was he really past his best or was he suffering as a result of the system and instructions from the manager? It could be that the job he was asked to do led to a downturn in performance."
"Now it looks like Rooney is being dampened down in the same way that Van Persie was. He has stopped scoring goals and I'm not seeing the same spark in his game. Wayne is always willing to sacrifice himself for the team but there's not the same satisfaction and I wonder how much he is being affected by United's system. Martial has scored goals and alleviated some of that pressure but Wayne will want to be scoring goals again, and quickly," he added.
Rooney opened the scoring for United in their 3-0 Capital One Cup victory over Ipswich Town. The Red Devils host Sunderland in the Premier League clash and the former Everton man will be hoping to open his account in the league against the Black Cats.